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Will James's Friends

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  • Jo Ellen Harvey
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  • Jovana Jane
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  • Patrick Upp
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Latest Activity

Will James commented on Henry carrigan's blog post 'Linda Ronstadt – Duets (Album Review)'
"I loved Linda's first three albums, which were country. The picture featured here from Duets took me back; it was originally on the inner sleeve of one of her albums, and was pinned to my wall for years. Do I think she should be in a Rock HOF?…"
Apr 11
Will James replied to No Depression's discussion 'Ideas, suggestions, or concerns about what's next on ND?'
"A Like function is not going to stop folks from commenting. Believe me."
Apr 6
Will James replied to No Depression's discussion 'Ideas, suggestions, or concerns about what's next on ND?'
"You've pretty much heard from me already Kyla. No. 1: dump Ning."
Apr 6
Will James left a comment for Jo Ellen Harvey
"Belated welcome to Area Code 615 Jo Ellen."
Apr 6
Will James left a comment for Rustbelt Roadwarrior
"Welcome to Buffalo Heard, Rustbelt Roadwarrior. Feel free."
Apr 6
Will James replied to David Johnson's discussion 'Song(s) you're embarrassed to admit you really liked'
"Oh man, 96 Tears kills. That other stuff too Bruce."
Apr 2
Will James replied to David Johnson's discussion 'Song(s) you're embarrassed to admit you really liked'
"Oh, that might be a good one if I can do with Rick's, "Sealed with a Kiss." Really liked that one (but also had something to do with my first girlfriend so not sure it counts). And the more I think about it, it's good. "
Apr 2
Will James replied to David Johnson's discussion 'Song(s) you're embarrassed to admit you really liked'
"Leader of the Pack? Does that count? I REALLY love that."
Apr 2
Will James replied to David Johnson's discussion 'Song(s) you're embarrassed to admit you really liked'
"I am really trying hard to think of one I'm embarrassed by. I mean, Ode to Billy Joe? I think it's a masterpiece. Tony Joe White's Polk Salad Annie too. Darn there must be one. I can tell you all the one I hated, like Horse With No…"
Apr 2
Will James replied to David Johnson's discussion 'Song(s) you're embarrassed to admit you really liked'
"Not as good after Gary Alexander left. Sometime put on the second side of Along Comes, do some wine or whatever, turn the lights down low, and listen to that side (vinyl). It's crazy good. Love the two Valiant albums, No Fair At All was a great…"
Apr 2
Will James replied to David Johnson's discussion 'Song(s) you're embarrassed to admit you really liked'
"Wow, Wolly Bully is one of the greats of all time. I understand what you're saying Dennis, but it seems to be asking more what you'd think other people would think is embarrassing. Maybe it's just that I'm older I don't…"
Apr 2
Will James replied to David Johnson's discussion 'Song(s) you're embarrassed to admit you really liked'
"Not embarrassed to admit to any song that I like. If I like it, it's good to me, right? "
Apr 1
Rustbelt Roadwarrior joined Will James's group
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Buffalo Heard

Besides chicken wings, snow, great architecture, and beef on 'weck, Buffalo is known for one other thing: music.See More
Mar 26
Jo Ellen Harvey joined Will James's group
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Area Code 615 (Nashville)

This Group is named after Nashville's area code, also used by a band of Nashville's finest studio musicians back in the late '60s, some of whom backed Dylan on Nashville Skyline.See More
Mar 4
Will James replied to Meghan (aTinyTune.com)'s discussion 'Best Current Country Music Being Made By Women?'
"Damn those outfits were FINE. The guys too."
Feb 23
Will James replied to Meghan (aTinyTune.com)'s discussion 'Best Current Country Music Being Made By Women?'
"Loved EVERYTHING about Kacey's performance on the Grammys. "
Feb 23
Will James replied to Bruce Brantley's discussion 'Are the roots of alt country represented by Uncle Tupelo, Gram Parsons or Elvis Presley? Nominate somebody else.'
""Parsons, Furay, McGuinn and Stills made no real contribution, other than satirizing country for their hippie followers." Got a Commander Cody album for you, called Lost In the Ozone. Btw, Parsons is solid South. Oh, and I'm 61 as of…"
Feb 22
Will James replied to Bruce Brantley's discussion 'Are the roots of alt country represented by Uncle Tupelo, Gram Parsons or Elvis Presley? Nominate somebody else.'
"So glad I got a chance to share a bottle of something in a paper bag with Steve backstage back in the day, as we discussed whether his buddy Prine should get a band or not (he asked my opinion). I agree with you steviedal, but have to note that in…"
Feb 21
Will James replied to Meghan (aTinyTune.com)'s discussion 'Best Current Country Music Being Made By Women?'
"Thanks Kyla, I did miss that. On the other hand, I don't think many here would include Kacey (not Kasey;), and they haven't except possibly ScumWrangler right after my comment. Hardly any folks being listed here are "inside" the…"
Feb 21
Will James replied to Meghan (aTinyTune.com)'s discussion 'Best Current Country Music Being Made By Women?'
"Crazy, I also booked Sturgill in 2011 before he was "Sturgill." But I thought this was about women?"
Feb 20

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Comment Wall (103 comments)

You need to be a member of No Depression Americana and Roots Music to add comments!

Join No Depression Americana and Roots Music

At 9:53pm on January 22, 2014, Sin City Woodstock said…

Thank you for your note, and the invite Will!  Sounds like a great group and event! Definitely interested.

At 1:53pm on December 31, 2013, Ann Crews Vassiliou said…
Thanks Will. Proud to be a member of this particular group.
At 7:50pm on October 30, 2013, The Medicine Show said…

Thanks for the welcome yes I help with Riches publicity in Europe. 

At 2:05pm on July 29, 2013, Patrick Ferguson said…

Thanks for the warm welcome, Will! I think I may have the most Americana story ever- I should tell it some time. The short summary is that once, when I was roommates with the Dashboard Saviors in Athens, GA, we stayed up all night playing guitars and singing songs with Uncle Tupelo in Vic Chesnutt's half of the house. That was on the tour for the album "No Depression." I don't know why it took me so long to join this forum! It looks like I belong here!

At 8:16pm on May 20, 2013, Jo Ellen Harvey said…

Hey Will

I joined Buffalo Heard. Thanks for letting me know about it.

:)

JoEllen

At 11:57am on April 12, 2013, Chelsea said…
Haha thanks...not a paisley fan, if you couldn't tell. But anyway, I am a fan of the ale house, I used to go there when it was under different ownership (twice!) and the new setup is cool. Hoping for some talent to come through. If you're in the area again, you should check out the crooked I. Also, the Riverside Inn is hosting a music festival just a shade south of here that looks pretty awesome!
At 6:37pm on February 1, 2013, Maria Gladstone said…

Thanks Will.  Tomorrow is my Mom's memorial service and we made a CD of all the music she liked. George Jones, Faron Young, Conway Twitty, Buck Owens, Jack Greene, etc...  One of her favorite songs was Statue of a fool. 

At 7:42am on January 30, 2013, Jennifer Coleman said…

Thank you, Will. I will do that. I have been reading your stuff thru Patrick.

 

At 7:07pm on January 29, 2013, Jennifer Coleman said…
Thank you! Patrick is an incredible song writer. I am very proud of him. We are so excited about seeing Nashville and meeting you.
At 11:58am on January 22, 2013, Mj Leonard said…

Hey Will,

I can't personally differentiate between "country" and Americana (roots music). But I think "Your Cheating Heart", is one of the best representations of pure country music.

It does make me sick when I hear Taylor Swift...called,country. 

Profile Information

Nomination Proposal to the Country Music Association to Induct Gram
Parsons Into the Country Music Hall of Fame (Copied from original .pdf file submitted as hard copy with List of Supporters to CMA, 9/19/08, on the 35th anniversary of Gram's death and again in Sept. 2009)


Based on the criteria established and promulgated by the Country Music
Association in regard to an individual's nomination for induction into the
Country Music Hall of Fame (originally submitted Sept. 19, 2008)


Basic Standard A
Candidate basically is to be judged on the degree of his/her
contribution to the advancement of Country Music and on the indelibility of
his/her impact.

Ingram Cecil Parsons, ne Ingram Cecil Connor III (Gram Parsons) meets this
standard unquestionably, arguably advancing country music more than any
other individual or force within that past 40 some years. His indelible impact
can be seen and is seen in the broad scope of all types of country music today.
His contributions, from the International Submarine Band's "Safe at Home"
(which many critics consider to be one of the great country albums of all time),
his work with the Byrds during which he literally hijacked a rock band to
further his country vision with "Sweetheart of the Rodeo" (upon its release he
played the Grand Ole Opry, a milestone the Opry itself marks as being 33 in
their top 80 Opry Moments of All Time), through the groundbreaking "Gilded
Palace of Sin" and his two albums completed with his protégée Emmylou
Harris, "GP" and "Grievous Angel." It should be noted that Ms. Harris herself
on numerous occasions credits Gram Parsons for her understanding of and
distinguished career in country music and her own well deserved induction into
the Country Music Hall of Fame. Please see the comments of the almost 3,000
individuals comprising the List of Supporters (attached and at
www.gramparsonspetition.com) for further substantiation of this observation.


Individual Candidacy Only
Individuals may be elected to the Hall of Fame. Companies, publications, radio stations and other groups many of which significantly foster Country Music are not eligible for Hall of Fame recognition.

Gram Parsons, although he worked with many distinguished musicians,
including those mentioned above, members of the Flying Burrito Brothers, and
Elvis Presley's backup band, is presented here for individual consideration as a
country artist; moreover, it is his singular individuality upon which this
nomination is based.


Scope of Activity Flexible
Authority is vested in the Electors in identifying the scope of a candidate's activity in Country Music. The individual may have excelled in a narrow, specific sphere . . . such as songwriting, publishing, musician, recording artist, etc. or may have been active in several areas. In any event, a candidate must have achieved definitive leadership in his/her own field of Country Music activity. However, it is definitely not mandatory to honor the leaders in every activity related to Country Music. A candidate truly must
compete with all candidates in all fields, as well as with all candidates in his/her own field.

I cannot imagine a field of endeavor within country music within which any
individual can claim greater and broader excellence than that of Gram
Parsons, a scope which encompasses brilliant country songwriting, plaintive
and uniquely evocative voice, excellent musicianship on several instruments,
and as a leader, his artistic vision compelling others to help him achieve his
steadfast objective: to promote country music and bring it squarely into the
next century without turning his back on innovation in
the era in which he lived, which often was a divisive and turbulent time. He sought with gentle kindness, good humor, wit and his art to allow those who would not otherwise "see the light" to have it shine on them brightly.


Span of Influence

The time factor of a candidate's impact on Country Music is
completely flexible. It may cover an uninterrupted span of many years or it may
cover two or more distinct and separated time cycles. Conceivably, even a
candidate may earn Hall of Fame recognition by one transient act, momentary
in time, providing the impact on Country Music is deemed significant enough.
Longevity of involvement with Country Music, therefore, will not in itself
warrant recognition in the Hall of Fame.

In addition to his own history-altering achievements on the field of country
music, Gram Parsons had a profound and now widely recognized influence on
others that continues to this day. More than any other artist of the late 60s and
early 70s, Gram brought a new audience to a deep, genuine, and
transformational appreciation of authentic country music. Ironically, his
direct influence has actually had as great a longevity, if not greater, than any
nominee considering by your distinguished board over the years. I know of no
one in the past 40 years whose influence has actually grown and continues to
grow to span the decades and to have as broad an impact on country music
than Gram Parsons.


Influence on Others
A most significant criterion in evaluating a candidate will
be his/her inspirational effect on others . . . the degree to which he/she
multiplies his influence through others to create impact on Country Music far
beyond his/her own direct individual contribution.

Gram Parsons had an exponential influence on those of his time and those in
the 35 years that he's been gone. The best testament to this are the comments
attached from all over the world, for indeed his influence was arguably more
global in spreading the gospel of genuine American country music throughout
the world than any other country artist in history (again, please reference the
List of Supporters and their countries of origin).


Quantity vs. Quality

A candidate's ability to expand the popularity of Country
Music is a quantitative virtue. The professionalism of his/her activity is a
"qualitative" one. Both quantitative and qualitative criteria are to be considered
equally and separately important; conceivably, one may be present without the
other.

It is the opinion of this nominator that the Latin word versus should not be used
in the above criterion. Substitute "and." The key words in this criterion are "a
candidate's ability to expand the popularity of country music" as a quantitative
virtue. Many country stars come and go, some even selling millions of
records. But how many of them leave an indelible mark on the dispersion of
country music to new audiences and expand its reach to any great extent? One
who did and continues to is Gram Parsons. Again, the best reference for this is
the List of Supporters and their comments. I was amazed as someone who
loved Gram's music back when he was with us that so many, seemingly most,
have discovered him recently and express their reverence for his music and
wish to emphasize how it has influenced their own style of country. There is
little to add, except to say that any number of expert lists, books and reviews
put the five albums in particular listed in the first criterion at the top of
influential and both quantitative, over the years, and qualitative excellence far
above most others.


Devotion to Others
Furthering Country Music by selfless devotion to the
interests of others may enhance the candidacy of an individual, but it is not
essential to winning. The activities of a candidate may be completely self
devoted and still be considered significant enough to warrant recognition.

Perhaps the most striking example of Gram's selfless devotion to others is a
letter he wrote from Harvard, one of many, to his little sister Avis, for whom he
felt responsible after the death of both parents due to alcoholism. Please
reference David Meyer's biography (page 163) or other source for this letter,
which is as exquisite in its thought, feeling and artistry as any of his songs. All
who knew Gram knew of his personal devils (a major theme of country music),
but they also attest to his humanity and devotion to those he loved. Again, a
good source who has backed this up many times on the record is Ms. Emmylou
Harris.


Professional Conduct and Image
A candidate is expected to have practiced the highest caliber of professional conduct in order to enhance the public image of both himself/herself and Country Music.

All of the foregoing attest to Mr. Parsons' caliber of professional conduct. All
who knew him attest to the degree to which he had grown, both personally and
professionally, during the making of those brilliant final albums. His music
represents a desperate though controlled attempt to bridge the abyss that had
formed in the 60s and early 70s. He would preach the truth of country music to
anyone who would listen, and often did. He would walk into an otherwise
dangerous bar in the valley and win over the most hardcore of traditional
country fans. He proudly wore the same suits as Mr. Porter Wagoner, not
ironically, but out of a deep respect for the music he loved (indeed, he was one
of Mr. Nudie's best friends). Had he lived, he would have continued to enhance
the public image of country music as many of his proclaimed followers have.


Personal Morals and Behavior
The selection process is not a judgment of personal morals and behavior, providing the latter do not negatively affect the professional conduct of the candidate and the public image of Country Music.
No one will ever know what definitively happened that night 35 years ago just as no one will know all the details of New Year’s Day 1953. Gram Parsons lived in an undeniably divisive time, a world between the worlds.
As has been stated, everyone knew Gram had his devils. As his beloved Louvin Brothers
said, "Satan Is Real." But I am not going to simply write off this criterion by
pointing to an equally great country music legend who died a tragic young
death fighting his devils. Recent science has shown that addiction is also real,
and is caused by a defect in a gene. Both of Gram's biological parents were
extreme addictive personalities clearly demonstrating this genetic abnormality
(again, see Meyer's biography and others). True, the era he had no choice but
to live in didn't help, but to judge Mr. Gram Parsons negatively based on an
addictive behavior would not only rule out Hank, Sr., but also many other
country music notables by using a prejudicial criterion clarified by modern
science. No, Gram Parsons believed wholeheartedly in his art, in country music, in
what William Faulkner called the only thing worth writing about: the human
heart in conflict with itself.



Gram%20Parsons%20Tribute%20Night%20Nashville Quantcast

Will James's Blog

Web Metrics & the Meaning of Lifetime: The Case of Gram Parsons

In these days of Linda Chorneys and Lana Del Rays, it's getting increasingly difficult to deal with the criteria used to nominate someone, and in which category even, whether for halls of fame or for the likes of the Grammy Awards. There are clearly ways to "play the system" if indeed there still exists a system to be played. You have to know your way around the Casino.

And when it comes to "lifetime achievement awards," which would also include induction into halls of fame, the definition of "lifetime," which had become "15 minutes of fame," seems now to be reduced to about a nanosecond.

Add the landscape-altering shifts in "categories" and their qualifying criteria, such as airplay ("spins" adding terrestrial and satellite), and unit sales (now including 0's and 1's, electrons either embedded in plastic discs or just free flowing), streaming, pirated, etc., and you are left with a real tossed salad, especially when dealing with artists whose careers have spanned these relatively recent revolutions, or even those who lived when music had only two vehicles -- live or Long Playing (LPs).

Trends in measuring popularity, success, artistic accomplishment, and any other yardsticks involved in nominating an artist for any such "lifetime" accolades become increasingly complex when dealing with those whose careers either spanned these changes that have rocked the business, or who lived their lives entirely in a statistically simpler, more easily quantifiable time.

As an example, let's examine an artist on Rolling Stone's List of 100 Greatest Artists of All Time, who has been nominated to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame three times, has been the subject of a slew of biographies in both books and film, and who is the subject of a global petition to induct him into the Country Music Hall of Fame with over 11,000…

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Posted on January 16, 2014 at 11:30am — 11 Comments

Preserve & Restore Gram Parsons' First Performance Venue: The Derry Down, Winter Haven, FL

The biggest thing in Winter Haven, Florida, used to be Cypress Gardens, the result of an ambitious dream of one Dick Pope with backing from John Snively, Gram Parsons' grandfather and Florida citrus king. Long neglected, the amusement park and gardens are now run by Legoland, which has preserved some of the original Cypress Gardens and provided Winter Haven a chance to rebound. Legoland now also owns Gram's grandparents' home and uses it for special functions (photo by Bob Kealing at left). The gorgeous restoration of the Ritz Theatre is another example of Winter Haven's re-birth, a wonderful example of what communities can do working together and following Main Street's four-point approach to revitalization. The downtown streetscape of Winter Haven has undergone a remarkable facelift, also a result of such community cooperation led by Winter Haven Main Street.

The town now has a new project in the works: preserving and restoring the building that Gram's stepdad, Bob Parsons, bought for his son to play and hone his skills as a performer. The Derry Down Project seeks to restore the venue where a young Gram Parsons and his band, the folk-oriented Shilohs, were regulars, but also where others played from the historically rich well of the Florida Youth Center Circuit (term coined by Bob Kealing, author of…

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Posted on January 2, 2014 at 8:30pm — 2 Comments

CD Review & Interview: PC & the Angels of Death "Jaded Starlings In a Gilded Cage"

PC, otherwise known in the Valley of California as Patrick Coleman, is still a young guy by my standards, but he's been around. Around in this case is mainly the Valley (home base is Modesto). He describes his musical background in the interview below, but let's say he's been everywhere musically. But with Jaded Starlings In a Gilded Cage he and his band come home to their roots in the Valley, which to anyone familiar with names such as Buck Owens, Merle Haggard, Chris Hillman, and Lefty Frizzell (who moved to Bakersfield in the 70s to escape Nashville) is familiar territory as one of the seminal regions in the progression of true country music (with apologies to Blake Shelton).

The Valley is somewhat isolated, and such regions often form distinctive sounds. Patrick Coleman has been exposed to all forms of music, but the Valley sound can be unique, such as what Buck Owens created. So too the sounds of Patrick's new band, the Angels of Death, and the new CD.

Dwight Yoakum is not from the Valley, although as a disciple of Buck Owens you wouldn't know it (who is actually from California?). In a recent interview (Drew Millard, Noisy, http://bit.ly/YvmURu), Dwight talks about the same type of music that informs PC & the Angels of Death:

I had been a fan of Buck Owens and Merle Haggard, but I also had been a fan of Creedence Clearwater Revival, which was that kind of Bay Area country-rock. “Swamp Rock,” as it’s referred to. And Beck and I even chased that a bit, in terms of the groove of “A Heart Like Mine.” I told him, I said, “Everybody always does kind of the Swamp groove variation of what John Fogerty did, but nobody ever really attacked the country parts of “Bad Moon Rising.” I said, “That’s what that song, to me, needs.” And so he had his assistant engineer, as I said, play drums on it, and we end up with this kind of great, Stones-colliding-with-Johnny-Cash…

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Posted on January 26, 2013 at 1:30pm — 11 Comments

Book Review: "Calling Me Home: Gram Parsons & the Roots of Country Rock" (University Press of Florida)

I once boldly stated without checking that Gram Parsons had more books written about him than anyone else who died by age 26. Someone did their homework and corrected me: King Tut and Anne Frank evidently have had more (perhaps others). By pointing to such notables from history, I think this critic made my case.

So, why another book about Gram Parsons? If you throw in the Gandolf Hennig movie, one wonders what more one could know about this gentle though brightly shining comet that seemed to come out of nowhere and burn out far too quickly for most to see on the horizon.

Turns out a journalist from Florida now gives us the reasons why. Seems there actually were parts of Gram's life that had not been thoroughly explored and people who were close to Gram that had not said much before, possibly because no one thought them important enough to talk to. Bob Kealing sensed their stories untold, and they opened up to him.

It took a journalist with Bob Kealing's cred and easy manner to uncover these friends, relatives, and band mates and their informative tales. How? Like any good journalist does: by going after the story. By finding those folks, and squeezing all he could from them without them even knowing he had done so. By taking the pieces, putting them together, and going where the story took him -- with no preconceptions based on previous works or even on a complete knowledge of Parsons' catalog. And perhaps most importantly by nature of being a journalist who shared a homeland that Parsons loved and that informed his art; where others covered Gram's early years in the South mainly from the viewpoint of his tragic family background and left it there, Kealing found there was much more to discover and share with us.

This review is not going to do the obvious:…

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Posted on November 26, 2012 at 8:30pm — 10 Comments

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Created by No Depression Feb 17, 2009 at 9:06pm. Last updated by No Depression Sep 24, 2012.